As part of Budget 2019, I announced my intention to commission research into the cost of disability. This is the first step in reaching an in-depth understanding of this complex issue. I hope that this research, when complete, will inform policy direction in relation to the provision of adequate supports to meet the needs of people with disabilities from a whole-of-Government perspective.
Following a procurement process, Indecon International Consultants have been commissioned by the Department to carry out this research into the cost of disability. This work is currently under way.
The research will look at three main items. Firstly, the conceptual underpinnings of a “cost of disability” will be examined. Secondly, it will analyse what would be a reasonable estimate of a “cost of disability” in varying circumstances for people living in Ireland. Thirdly, the implications for public policy and service delivery will be teased out.
It is envisaged that the research will provide quantitative estimates of the cost of disability using a number of approaches. This will include data based on the direct experience of people with disabilities.
This is an important piece of work which I understand is progressing well and I look forward to the completed report in due course.
I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.